For the record, I think it’s important to know that I have indicated many times this week on the air that what the government is planning to do is aid for America. It is not a bailout for companies, corporate America, small businesses or large businesses. But there are some things being considered that would be a bailout for companies. I am not in favor of that at all, particularly for companies like Boeing, whose problems were caused long before coronavirus.
I suspect there are other companies, particularly in the financial sector, that are in the same position. I do believe that if we provide aid for the airline sector the government should consider taking a stake in these companies, primarily through warrants, so we can sell out as the stock begins to go up. I believe the government can generate an enormous amount of cash that could be put into the Treasury Department to offset some of the aid being provided.
There will be many who will argue that the government has no business taking ownership in corporate America through stocks or warrant or other forms of ownership. I think as long as the Treasury Department frames this ownership with a clear, concise exit strategy, it’s the only thing we should do to alleviate most of the debt that will be incurred.
We desperately need aid packages that will be strong, decisive and impactful. We need to consider all the business options the government can take in order to protect the interest of taxpayers, to protect our national security and to stabilize the economy. Again, I would like to remind everyone that there is no playbook for how we deal with this, and we need to stop thinking of this as if it were 2008 all over again.
This is nothing like 2008 and, for that matter, nothing like the Great Depression that started an 8-to-10-year crisis beginning in 1929. This is like nothing the world has ever seen or participated in, with no past experiences or past history to draw from.
This is a time when we can be thankful to God for this president and for the fact that for the past three years our economy, in my opinion, has become stronger than it has ever been. This gave us a foundation of strength; without it, we would be far worse off than we could imagine.
Again, I am not for bailouts, but I am for providing needed aid where it is necessary for people and industries like restaurants, airlines, rental cars, hotels, the auto industry and many others here in the United States. Some are being hurt dramatically by this virus that has taken them from prosperity to a mere existence.
Please, let’s not continue to confuse, as many politicians seem to be doing, aid for America with bailouts. And let’s hold politicians accountable if they’re loading up bills intended to aid Americans with pet projects for special interest groups, lobbyists and pork, and having nothing to do with aid.
Dan Celia is president and CEO of Financial Issues Stewardship Ministries, Inc., and host of the nationally syndicated radio and television program “Financial Issues,” heard daily on more than 660 stations across the country and reaching millions of households on several TV networks, including FISM-TV. Visit www.financialissues.org.